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Us 32, Carol 26, Sandy 23, New York 20, New Jersey 13, West Virginia 10, Chris Christie 8, Manhattan 8, Queens 7, Maryland 7, Virginia 7, Carlstadt 6, Canada 6, Washington 6, Deborah Feyerick 5, Georgia 5, Bergen 5, Teterboro 5, Sara 4, Martin Savidge 4,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
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    October 30, 2012
    6:00 - 8:00am PDT  

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people in this area who have lost their power? this is a look at what acceptedy has reached overnight and where she's headed. we'll head it now to "cnn newsrange of motion" with carol costello. that's coming up, next. good morning to you. i'm carol costello. thank you for being with us. we begin with a story that's shaping up to be nothing short of a national tragedy. historic super storm that covers a thousand miles and impacts millions of lives. at least 16 people are dead and floodwaters are wash across the most populated corridor in the united states. the region largely paralyzed this morning. airports, trains, bridges shut down. in new york, the head of the century-old subway system says it has never faced this kind of devastati devastation. we'll join a news kmps from new york's mayor at any moment now. in the flooded burrough of queens, 50 homes continue to burn. electr
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electrical fires and power outages are adding to the misery in the eastern united states. to give you an idea of how massive sandy still is, fierce winds are blowing in from canada all the way to georgea. this morning, some 7 million homes and businesses are without power and heat. sandy is also whipping up huge amounts of snow from maryland to tennessee and west virginia, a blizzard could dump three feet of rare october snow. our reporters are at some of the worst points of the super storm and breaking down the details on how all americans could feel sandy's impact. right now, we're following rescues and evacuations under way in much of the region. in northern new jersey there's been a breach in a berm and several communities are now flooded. one police chief says there's up to five feet of water in the streets of moonachie and little ferry. and in carlstadt rescues are
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taking place. having trouble getting to the scene because the roadways are so bad. when she arrives on the scene, she'll bring us much more information. sandy's trail of devastation goes beyond flooding. a fire has destroyed at least 50 homes in the breezy point neighborhood of queens, new york. deborah feyerick is covering that part of the story. good morning, deb. >> reporter: good morning. we want to tell you, the damage out here is extraordinary. more than 50 homes. missing their faces, just sheared off. this gentleman and his family were here overnight. this is steve and his wife and his daughter. first of all, tell us, you stayed overnight. what was it like? >> there was nothing you could do. there was water surrounding the hous house. >> reporter: why did you decide to stick it out? >> i'm a volunteer firefighter,
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trying to give a helping hand. and we got trapped. can't even help anybody. i couldn't help myself. >> reporter: were there moments where you thought this is it, we're not going to make it out? >> absolutely. absolutely. >> reporter: you are clearly shaken by this. waves, water. >> yeah. water came inside the house. came into the basement first and then uncontrollably started coming up to the first floor. we went up to the second floor. i was hoping maybe it would stop. and it eventually did. and then looking out the window, we saw the fires and we couldn't tell if it was 100 yards or a mile away. it's just sobriety. i couldn't tell where it was. we thought we were going to have to go jump in the water. it was terrible. >> reporter: you were able to pack up your car. when did you realize you had a window to get out? >> i put the car on higher ground the day before,
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obviously. not until just now. hundreds if not thousands of r cars under water. houses are destroyed. as you say yourself, nearly 50 houses have burned. it's unbloevable. it's like a war zone. >> reporter: you're going to go to brooklyn now and try to figure out -- >> yeah, stay with some friends and family and see what we can do. >> reporter: what is the hardest thing for you right now, you and your family? >> well, leaving our home. but, i'll be honest, you know, just getting out here at this point, there's nothing here. a home can always be rebuilt slopgs we have our lives. >> reporter: steve, thank you very much. take care. thanks for stopping for us. and so you can see how shaken people are. a couple of people wanted to
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stay home. they wanted to pump out their basement, stay ahead of the water. what hended up happening is that once the water came in, it came so fast and was so powerful that it knocked out all electricity so the generators couldn't work. that was sort of the moment when they realized that there was going to be no way out. trying to get down to those homes, 50 homes that were burned to the ground. take a look. this is just some of the devastation here. we're seeing just patios that were ripped up. furniture everywhere. there are trees that have jammed themselves under cars. this is all we're seeing. we were walking in places with knee-high water. boulevard or street after street after street. homes are so close to one another. right now, a lot of these people say, look, we got out with our lives but this is something they are not going to forget for a very, very long time, carol. >> deborah, i want to talk about
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the fires. why are the firefighters having so many problems putting these flames out? >> reporter: carol, i'm hearing bits and pieces of your question. let me tell you what i do know about these fires. the homes are wooden, very, very old. what happens in some cases, wires came down, ignited some fires. also once the homes flooded, what we're hearing is that the electrical boxes -- people left without turning them off. once those got under water, you had surges and there were fires. these are what we're being told about people who are riding this out. 200 firefighters. this became a six-alarm blaze. one man described it loik world war ii blitz, truck after truck, flames so big and so huge. imagine 50 homes that have completely burned to the ground.
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an area that really got hit hard. ironically, you can feel right now the wind that's coming. 40 minutes ago, carol, we saw the most magnificent rainbow that just physically framed this area. maybe it's a sign. who knows. anyway, we'll keep you updated from here, carol. >> i hope it's a sign. thank you for leaving us withy little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. deborah feyerick reporting live for us in queens. we want to head back to new jersey, moonachie. there's been some sort of breakage in a dam, levee or berm. we've heard all three terms. tell us exactly what broke in new jersey. >> at this time we're not sure what broke, if it was a problem with a levee or just because of the surge of the tide that was all over new jersey and new york that could have just pushed that water over that levee in
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moonachie. what we're seeing now are three towns that have been devastated. moonachie, little ferry and the town of carlstadt. this happened after midnight last night. a surge of water rushed into those towns. the town of moonachie, every single street in moonachie was covered with five to seven to eight feet of water. it's just devastating for them. >> we also heard word of people on top of their homes on roofs, waiting to get rescued. >> reporter:. >> yeah. an area of moonachie that houses a trailer park. we've had people going up to their second story of their home. we've been rescuing since 2:30 this morning and continue to do it. we've got resources from state. we've got the national guard here, the state police. we have our bergen county police
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department, sheriff's department and all the municipalities in bergen county have been giving their assets, boats, large trucks that can go through that high water. everybody just comes together. and we're praying for the people in those towns. >> it's great to hear. americans draw together in times of need. i love that about this country. the cold must complicate this for rescue workers, though. they're already wet. it's sort of still drizzling. lots of water. i just can't imagine how miserable they must be. >> you know what? the rescue workers, they're phenomenal. they're pulling together. we've got another group coming in from virmg ginia that's goino take over later this afternoon. they're working for a common goal. these are our neighbors. we're working to get them -- >> jeanne, i think we lost the
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connection. can you still hear me? okay. she's gone. you heard what's going on in moonachie, little ferry and carlstadt in new jersey. breach in a levee maybe. something caused a huge surge of water. every street in the town of moonachie flooded this morning. as you heard jeanne baratta, chief of staff telling you, so far we've heard no loss of life. that's the best news about the area this morning. power loss at nyu medical center sent staff members and police rushing to evacuate 200 patients early this morning. that picture is so touching. nurses had to help babies from the icu, intensive care unit breathe as they carried them down the stairs because the elevators went out. they had no electricity. some places flashlights were the only lights hospital workers had to get all of those incredibly
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sick people out. we're trying to get someone from the hospital to tell us if things are up and running. if we get someone on the line, of course, we'll share the information with you. now with the morning light we're able to see the first signs of destruction. rob marciano is in asbury park. what do things look like this morning, rob? >> well, carol, it's hard to believe that we just hit high tide and the water is as far back from where it is compared to where it was last night. not a bad looking morning when you just look out on the ocean. we're standing on the boardwalk, which has sustained some damage. some staircases and ramps were thrown up on the boardwalk. watch yourself here. these holes are all around the boardwalk. they're actually built to pop up when the pressure gets too bad because the water certainly was coming under here, going over the top of this boardwalk as well and up geps what was, back in the day -- you better believe
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were some restaurants, candy shops and souvenir shops. this area has just been used for storage for the past -- i don't know how many years. couple of people we talked to have said maybe this is -- as bad as it looks right now, maybe tess a small blessing in some cases, insurance money might be able to do something a little better here, get this thing going as far as asbury park is kerped. the water came last night, obviously hit these areas. in many cases, just funneled down these sidewalks and barreled into town. take i taking with it rocks, soil, all sorts of debris. these roadways are absolutely littered with not only debris from the beach, from the ocean, from the stores, from the sidewalk sidewalks, but a lot of these street lamps have gone down. there's windows that are blown out all over the place. still, flooded roadways covering up a lot of this debris. urging people not to go out. not to drive around. gas companies are now trying to shut off gas. we don't need more fires around.
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it's going to take some time for these floodwaters to recede. couple of notes of importance. there were two groups of senior citizens in nursing homes, essentially, that did not evacuate. they're basically stranded without power, no backup generators, but they're okay. no serious injuries or fatalities to report from asbury park. but you can bet it will take a long, long time to pick up the pieces and put things back together and recover from hurricane sandy. carol? >> i think you're right about that. rob marciano. >> millions of people are hoping for sunshine. please make the sun come out. i think they'll have to wait for a while. alexandra steele has our forecast. deborah feyerick said she saw a rainbow. >> meteorologically the most important thing now, where is this going. right? two numbers up here.
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they're both going down. one say good thing and the other is not. it's moving west-northwest at 15 miles per hour. that is coming down. that is not a good thing. this storm expected to weaken but is expected to slow down. the winds now maximum sustained winds at 65. so still potent, no doubt. those winds are coming down because it will weaken. center of circulation right now, you can barely see it right there, 90 miles west of philadelphia. where is this going? right now it's moving at 15 miles per hour. that expectation will flow. here it is. can you believe the energy of this super storm? eastern portions of it, of course, the hurricane, tropical elements, 9" of rain in delaware. western portions, more of a nor'easter, 9" of snow at least in west virginia and expecting potentially another foot. there's the rain and the snow that is still happening. here is the movement. right now you can see tuesday morning, the center of low
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pressu pressure. by tonight we're going to see it move and be in only western new york. by tomorrow, it looks from western pennsylvania just -- you can see just west of new york around toronto. so very slow to move. so even by wednesday and into thursday, new york and washington have 25 and 35-mile-per-hour wind gusts. so still a potent storm. the difficulty with this destruction, trying to clean up. this hurricane did not come in and go with certainly not a one-day quick hitter. we'll be doling with it thursday and even into friday. from sandy hook to islip, certainly not the picture anymore. still 50s and 60s today dropping 10 to 15 miles per hour the next few days. friday still 35-mile-per-hour wind gusts from washington to new york city. >> it's a whole lot of misery for a long time. >> yep. by the weekend finally it will be in canada and really clearing up. >> thank godness. poor canada.
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>> o, canada. >> alexandra mentioned the snowfall in west virginia. we'll take you to west virginia. you won't believe it. we'll be back. i don't spend money on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. [ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise. volt received the j.d. power and associates appeal award two years in a row. ♪
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our ireporters have been a virtual army of information for us. this video was taken monday in queens. it shows the very flooded streets near rockaway beach. things are better this morning. they're improving, but things are still pretty bad. super storm sandy. today's kids will one day tell their grandchildren about history being made as we speak. the destruction hard to fathom. power outages in 13 states. this morning, 7 million homes and businesses without electricity or heat. hurricane force winds ripped into the eastern corridor, the most populated part of the country. even today, fierce winds are blowing from georgia all the way to canada. at least 16 people are dead and floodwaters have paralyzed much of the east.
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in new york, airports, bridges, subways all closed, the disaster shaping up to be one of the worst in u.s. history. sandy has also spawned a blizzard that could blanket parts of west virginia with up to three feet of snow. lock looks pretty, doesn't it? boy, can it be dangerous. this is heavy, wet snow. martin savidge is in kingkingsv, west virginia. >> reporter: trifecta really. a postcard christmas kind of scene which wouldn't bed about if it weren't the fact that this is the day before halloween. the snow has piled up pretty heavy here. temperature 33 degrees, the optimum temperature for heavy snowfall. that is exactly what they're getting in the higher elevations of west virginia. this is sandy. and, of course, it's vastly different from what many people saw along the coastline. up here in the mountains, it is a blizzard and it's going to
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remain this way, we're told, all the way through today and into tomorrow afternoon. we got about 8" to a foot here. they anticipate another foot, maybe two will come down. power is out to this area. there are now 12 counties that are under a blizzard warning. you mentioned the flod warning. on top of that, the high wind warning. wind blowing up in the trees. to get here today, the drive was a white knuckle drive on highway 7. we should also point out that the main interstate, 68, still closed. they're making progress in trying to get it open. the conditions really, carol, just miserable out here. cold, windy and very treacherous on the road. >> it makes me concerned about power outages. that snow is really heavy. there's also a howling wind. any word about how many people are without power in west virginia this morning? >> reporter: right now the number relatively low, compared to, say, other states.
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200,000 people without power. but you're exactly right. the more that the snow comes down -- and this is the really thick, heavy stuff. it's going to drag down the tree limbs. we already saw that while we were driving. a tree exploded above us, came showering down with branches. no power lines there. had there been, would have dragged them down. as we say, right here there is no electricity. we don't know exactly the cause, whether it's wind or power lines down. it will be a problem that will only get worse throughout the day. carol? >> you look so cold, martin. thank you very much. we appreciate it. >> reporter: yep. >> poor martin. blue ridge mountains of north carolina also going to get hit by snow from super storm sandy. classes closed at many public school schools and colleges this morning. state of emergency was declared for 24 counties in north carolina because of the snow. snow is being blamed for very strong winds, decreasing visibility, shaking vehicles.
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salt trucks are out in force, trying to get the roads clear. it will be a big job this morning. live coverage of the effects of sandy continues after this quick break.
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power outages are crippling many areas. 13 states and the district of columbia, almost 2 million of them are in new york state. alison kosik is looking over kind of depressing numbers this morning. good morning, alison. oh, we're having audio problems. we'll get back to alison as soon as we get that technical glitch worked out. if you still have any doubts about sandy's power, though, take a minute and take a look at this picture. here it is. you see this. is that incredible or what? it's a huge tanker sitting on the shore of staten island. listen to wabc reporter michelle
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charles describe the situation. >> reporter: this is a giant, 160-foot, 700-ton tanker that was just picked up by the narrows and dumped here on front street. we are on front street in staten island. and if i show you -- this is the narrows here. you can see the water coming in. there's lower manhattan. and then we swing around to show brooklyn. this is the narrows bridge. now this tanker came from about a mile away from a marina that has just been chopped to bits. >> just unbelievable. just an unbelievable picture. lot of strange pictures like that after intense flooding and strong hurricane force winds. we'll be showing you more of these, unfortunately, throughout the hour. we got our technical glitch worked out. let's go back to alison kosik and talk about power outages. good morning. >> no power outage here but
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definitely around our area. langone's medical center at nyu, backup power failed. four newborns in the neonatal care unit were on respirators. nurses had to use manual pumps to keep them breathing. we did see flashes of several transformers blowing throughout new york. at this moment, probably because of what you're seeing there, much of lower manhattan is dark right now. con ed is saying this is the biggest snow-related -- storm-related outage, rather, in our history. it's not just new york. lock at this, as we were saying, about 2 million people in new york, it was really new jersey where sandy made landfall, where more than 2 million people are without power. in massachusetts even, about 322,000 people are without power. the emergency -- there's an emergency agency in massachusetts, carol, warning people of dangerous winds today. 300,000 in massachusetts, that could go up as far as the number of people without power.
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car carol? >> and it's so cold, too. >> it is. >> it's not like your normal hurricane where it's hot and humid afterwards. it's more cold and rain. >> yes, exactly. >> alison kosik, thanks so much. our live coverage of the impact of sandy continues. seven subway tunnels in new york city flooded with water. it will take four days to pump it all out. can you say nightmare? [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot?
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okay. some pretty disgusting pictures. these are the kinds of things that happened after the storm. there's a sewage discharge coming from the water reclamation plant in howard county in maryland. that's where columbia, maryland,
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is, between washington, d.c. and baltimore. look at that truck. it's buried in raw sewage. at least partially buried. they're having a horrible time containing this because, of course, they're dealing with power outages, too, and lots and lots of water and saturated ground. you can see that this sewage leak is contaminating not only bodies of water but also the ground surrounding the sewage treatment plant. again, this is howard county, maryland. that's near columbia, where columbia, maryland, is, between washington, d.c. and baltimore. we get more information on this terrible and kind of disgusting story, we pass it along to you. sandy left manhattan's battery park with a record tide. you can so how the storm surge came up, shattering the previous tide from 1960. that was john berman, ashleigh
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banfield. john berman is there in the cold light of day. what's happening today, john? >> reporter: hey, carol. right now it's dry. as you said, there was water covering this whole area where i'm standing right now. 14-foot storm surge, 14 foot higher than the record before. we heard out there in new york harbor there were waves that were 32 feet high, six foet higher than the record has ever been. simply battered. that storm surge wreaked havoc all over the city. you were talking about it a little while ago. subways flooded, seven subway tunnels that go out from manhattan and queens and other areas here. they're flooded. they haven't said how long it will take to fix them. the biggest devastation, worst devastation they've seen or had in the subway system in its full 108-year history. no word on how long it will take to pump the water out of those tunnels. they could going to some lines up and running before others but
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they will be tough to repair. meanwhile, power out for about 250,000 people in manhattan alone. they shut down the power after a transformer explosion. so, lower manhattan from the 20s on down was completely dark when i drove down here at night. very eerie. never seen anything like it here in manhattan. very dramatic pictures over at nyu langone medical center on the other side of town. they lost power, backup gener generator stopped working, had to evacuate 260 patients from that hospital including several babies from the nicu, neonatal care unit. the nurses had to carry the babies down the stairs and use a hand pump. they had been on a respirator. they used a hand pump carrying them down the stairs and transferred them to other hospitals. about 1,000 people involved in that evacuation. this city overnight was like nothing no one has ever seen. >> it's not just a couple of floors. i know it has more than 12
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floors at nyu. do we know if the hospital is open again this morning, john? >> reporter: i don't bloelieve is. i have not yet received an update. it's 15 floors. they had to evacuate. 216 patients were left in it. it has the capacity of 800 patients. a lot of patients had been moved out over the past few days with the storm moving in. the ones in the most critical care were kept in there. they thought the generators would work. they didn't think the flooding would get that bad. of course, it did. and they had to evacuate overnight. >> the hospital is right near the water. you can see how that happened. john berman, thanks. mayor of new york is expected to update us on the situation in queens where 50 homes burned down. they're still fighting fires there. also the hundreds of thousands of people without power in the new york area. we'll be right back. people really love snapshot from progressive, but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later,
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pictures to show you from our team of ireporters. this is what it looked like monday night at pretty much the height of sandy. the superstorm blowing through the streets of manhattan. as we've been telling you, high winds, heavy rain, hundreds of thousands of people without power in new york city this morning. there's also been a breach in a berm in new jersey. and several communities are now even more flooded. that's just the latest after the atlantic city boredwalk collapse. ali velshi is in atlantic city. this boardwalk is the backbone of the city. >> reporter: yeah. most of the boardwalk is intact, about a 50-foot length of it actually got hit last night. not a lot of overnight damage. the wind is still blowing here. you can hear sirens around me. this is one of the hoods from the traffic lights, this just
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blew over to me. garbage pails. i just went over to the boardwalk, drove across it. again not extensive damage over there. there are at least 500 people in shelters, though. i just spoke to somebody from the red cross who says they're expecting more people in the area. 11,000 people spent the night in shelters but more people are doing so now because they're finding out that this flooding and power loss are serious. we have a staging area for two things in lptic city, national guard troops. we saw them. they left at 7:00 this morning. we've been seeing them all around town. and there are convoys of ambulances that were also staged here and went out. many of them, actually, from the state of indiana, coming in to help out. they're going to go to the outer areas. there do not seem to be a great deal of call for them in atlantic city. most people understood there was a traffic ban and those that were able to get out did. you probably heard the spat
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going on between new jersey governor chris christie and the mayor of atlantic city. the governor says the mayor didn't do enough to get people to take it seriously about leaving. the bottom line is that the water is all gone. this is where i was standing yesterday. this was waist deep at one point. the water has receded. still a lot of flooding. and we are seeing a number of coast guard overflies that started again at first light this morning around 7:00 am. and they're doing an evaluation of whether or not there need to be rescues. we've not heard of active search and rescues. they are evaluating flooding, seeing who needs help. that's the boredwalk behind me, about three-quarters of a mile down. you can see those red lights. mostly just emergency vehicles around town. no serious damage. there are power outages here in atlantic city, carol. >> i'm sure. ali velshi reporting live from atlantic city, new jersey. we've been telling you all morning long about a breach in a
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levee in new jersey that has flooded at least four towns. the floodwaters are very deep right now. firstresponders are doing their best to get people out right now. we'll talk to the chief of police from little ferry when we come back. the all-new cadillac atsto g to test the 2.0-liter turbo engine. [ engine revs ] ♪ [ derek ] 272 horsepower. the lightest in its class. the cadillac ats outmatches the bmw 3 series. i cannot believe i have ended the day not scraping some red paint off on these barriers. ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats. starts with ground beef, unions, and peppers baked in a ketchup glaze with savory gravy and mashed russet potatoes. what makes stouffer's meatloaf best of all? that moment you enjoy it at home.
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it is 45 minutes past the hour. superstorm sandy, we will onedy tell our grandkids about the history being made. 7 million homes and businesses are without electricity or heat. hurricane force winds ripped in the eastern corridor, most populated chunk of the country. even today fierce whippeds are blowing from georgia all the way up into canada. at least 16 people are dead and floodwaters have paralyzed much of the east.
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in new york, airports, bridges, subways remain closed. the disaster already shaping up to be one of the worst in history. we've been telling you about what we think is a breach in new jersey right along the hackensack river. we have the police chief of little ferry, one of the towns affected by this his name is ralph bernie. thank you for joining us this morning. >> yes, ma'am. >> do you know what cause this had breach? >> at this time, ma'am, we're unsure. all we know is that we believe it was around 11:00 pm last night. a rush watof water just took ov us. we had to evacuate people from a shelter, bring them into our hall which fwan to flood.
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we then took our residents to teterboro to a shelter that opened there. we continue to evacuate people from our apartment complexes and whatnot along with any emergency aid calls. again, i've been a police officer 33 years. i've never seen this type of devastation from flooding. we have had floods in the past but nothing like this. >> how deep is the water, sir? >> we have water in some spots in town six to eight feet. we have people that were actually on the roofs of their homes in certain sections. we needed actually boats. we're still using boats to get people out of low-lying areas. >> how many people are you talking about? >> approximately 75% of our town. we're a municipality of about 11,000 people. 75% of the town is still under water. it has receded somewhat. very little. but it has receded somewhat.
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right now we're just -- we are contacting the army corps of engineers and hoping to get some answers from them as far as what we can do with this levee. >> do you have any boats? >> yes, ma'am. we've had -- we placed mutual aid and have boats from the richfield fire, little ferry fire department has three boats. pagoda, bergen county police, bergen county sheriff. i'm probably missing a few. we have plenty of boats now. when it first happened we were over swamped with it. we kept up as much as we could and got mutual aid to help us out. >> i'm just curious. how many hours have you been working? >> i'm probably going on 28. >> wow! that's incredible. i'm sure people sure appreciate it. you're talking about little ferry. there's two other towns involved, moonachie and
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carlstadt. in your mind, how many people, how many homes have we been talking about? >> in carlstadt, i couldn't tell you. in moonachie, town of 3,000 people, their police station has been evacuated. municipal building has been totally evacuated. at this point i couldn't even tell you. i couldn't get in touch with the moonachie police chief. >> are you finding that there are people in pretty much every home in little ferry? >> no, ma'am. we were prepared. people have sand bags. we knew this was going to be a very bad storm. once that levee went, it was a wall of water that came from the southern portion of the burrough and just washed right through. it was like something we had
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never seen. >> you thought the worst of the storm is over and then this happened? >> pretty -- yeah, pretty much. pretty much. >> i'll let you go. i know you're you're busy and tt we appreciate your efforts. thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. take care. >> our best to all those people. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] with 160 more miles per tank, the distances aren't getting shorter. ♪ the trucks are going farther. the new 2013 ram 1500. ♪ with the best-in-class fuel economy. engineered to move heaven and earth. ♪ guts. glory. ram.
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homeowners who evacuated before sandy came ashore might return to find damage and possibly a second shock when they look at their insurance policy. christine romans is here with what could be a lousy october surprise, even worse than the
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storm. >> you thought your deductible was $500, $1,000, $5,000, carol, maybe not. check the first page of the insurance policy to find out if the hurricane deductible is 1% to 5% of the value of your home. after hurricane andrew insurance companies put in clauses that trigger higher deductibles if a storm makes landfall as a hurricane. it varies by state and insurance company. generally you end up paying more out of pocket on your house if it were slammed by a hail storm than -- by a hurricane, rather, than a hail storm or regular thunderstorm. this is an example. the typical $300,000 house with a $500 standard deductible could have a hurricane deductible of up to 5% of the value of the home. the out of pocket cost is not $500, but $15,000. 18 states and d.c. have these hurricane deductibles. some policies call them tropical
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cyclone deductibles. every state hit by sandy has them. you can look on the first page, the declarations part of your insurance policy to find out. that car you're seeing right there, that will be covered by your car insurance, but when a tree hits the house, that's the homeowners insurance that kicks in. also a reminder, you're looking at a roof there. insurance adjusters are waiting to come into the area today and tomorrow to get started. you will see them soon. you should be present when they inspect the property and keep detailed notes and also, carol, this is prime time for scammers. you're going -- anybody who shows up who you don't know knocking on the front door asking for cash to do work, don't do it. >> i was just thinking of these poor people in queens who have lost their homes, they've burned to the ground. would that be a result of the hurricane or fire or what? >> they're going to have to talk to their insurance agents right away to figure out how they're going to classify that. if it's a hurricane that caused the wind that caused the fire, i
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mean, that could be -- could come under the hurricane part of the clause. you have to check every single policy to be very, very careful. the other thing here, too, carol is that flood insurance. remember, floods, that comes in a separate insurance policy. very important to check that as well. 30 days to put that into effect. that's not something you could have gotten last week even. >> christine romans thanks so much, i think anyway, but good advice. our live coverage of superstorm sandy continues right after this. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line,
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another ireport -- actually, we're going to start with this story. the can't of a submerged ship still missing. . .ms bounty was trying to plea sandy when it began taking on water off the coast of north carolina. the crew abandoned ship and the coast guard was called in to save the crew.
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>> were you nervous going in there? >> i was. i hadn't seen anything like this before. this was the first case that i had been into a hurricane. >> the waves were just sort of tossing it this way and that way. 50 knot winds. visibility was still pretty poor. >> he was really happy to see us, that's for sure. >> survivors coming up. >> 14 crew members were rescued but one person died. the 180 foot long vessel was built as a replica used in the movie "nemutiny on the bounty." good morning. thank you so much for joining us. i'm carol costello. we begin this hour with a story that's shaping up to be nothing short of a national tragedy. a historic superstorm that covers 1,000 miles and impacts millions of lives. at least 16 people are dead and floodwaters are washing across the most populated corridor in
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the united states, the region still largely paralyzed. airports, trains, bridges all shut down. in new york the head of the century old subway system says it has never faced this kind of devastation. in the flooded borough of queens at least 80 homes burned to the water line. electrical fires and power outages only adding to the misery of the eastern united states. to give you an idea of how massive sandy still is, fierce winds are blowing from canada all the way down to georgia. this morning some 7 million homes and businesses without power or heat. sandy is also whipping up huge amounts of snow from maryland to tennessee and west virginia a blizzard could dump three feet of rare october snow. cnn's crews are scrambling to bring you the latest information on this ep i can disaster that's still unfolding. our reporters are at some of the worst points of the superstorm and breaking down the details on how all americans can feel the impact. major concern to go along with
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the flooding from sandy is fire. check out the flames from this huge fire in the breezy point neighborhood of queens, new york. at least 80 homes have been destroyed. deborah feyerick is there. what are you finding out, deb? >> reporter: carol? >> i'm here. take it away, deb. >> reporter: carol, yeah, thanks, carol. we're having a little problem. the weather out here is -- sort of gusts of rain to the sun goming out. we want to pan down, you see a fire truck, a vehicle there. you mentioned 80 homes. we're told gotham watch is on fire and the problem is, first of all, these homes are -- they're old homes, most of them are wooden structures. they're side by side. just a little sidewalk between the two homes -- water onto those fires. so they're really stuck. there's just nothing that they
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can do. we spoke to somebody who is kind of like the mayor here of breezy point. he told us probably about -- evacuated. we took a walk down along the bay, carol. i have to tell you, it looks like this storm took a massive sledgehammer and just started whacking at the individual homes. windows completely blown out. some of the homes are simply knocked off of their foundations. others are sinking. water is rushing back out into the bay. it is just -- it is nothing like i have seen before. we spoke earlier to one man. he decided to try to ride out this storm. take a listen. >> i never thought it would be this bad. it was bad. this is the worst. i was here in hurricane donna and donna was nothing like this. we only had maybe 18 inches of water. i had four foot of water. it was coming in the windows. >> reporter: and you can see some of the people walking up. this is what we're seeing now, people coming back to their homes to figure out exactly just how bad the damage is.
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as we pull out a little bit, you can see some of the homes where there's just garbage on the inside. these are the homes, these are not so bad compared to the ones we saw over on the bay and then clearly the ones that have been completely destroyed by fire. right now this community just -- it's a strong community. you've got a lot of retired policemen and firefighters, but they're just trying to make sense of this entire thing, carol. >> i'm just trying to make sense of all these homes that are catching fire. the initial fire probably was an electrical problem i would assume, although i don't know that for sure, but since the homes are so close together, is the fire just jumping from house to house to house? >> reporter: well, that's exactly right. that's exactly right. we're talking about sidewalks that are maybe this big between the homes, maybe a little bigger. but that's the problem, and you would think that these homes are so wet that there's no way they can catch fire, but, in fact, they are, and that really is the problem. all the power in this area has been shut down. we don't know whether these are
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transformers that are sort of igniting, sparking, but, again, we saw just a whole bunch of people just tear off down in that direction. we asked one gentleman, who lied here since he was 12 years old, he said, yeah, and this is what's incredible, he said gotham walk is on fire, all of gotham walk. we're talking a complete row of homes, and we can smell it in the air. we've got emergency vehicles that are making their way here, and people just, again, trying to piece together the devastation. this truck over here with all those fire hoses. the problem is getting water and because the water pressure is so intermittent, if they do get water onto a home, there's no sense of how much water you can actually get on that structure. so this is still very much sort of, unfortunately, one man described it, he said it perfectly, he said this is a war zone, carol. >> deborah feyerick reporting live for us this morning. we're also following rescues and
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evacuations that are under way in northern new jersey. there's been a breach in a levee there, at least we think so, and several communities are now flooded. one police chief says there's up to five feet of water in the streets of moonachie and little ferry. rescues also under way in carlstadt. cnn's maggie lake is live. she's on the phone near moonachie. describe the scene for us, maggie. >> reporter: a lot of chaos, carol. we are at the evacuation site where they are bringing people that they are literally plucking off the roofs and they're coming in by the bus load. they're confused, they're upset, they're basically just wearing the clothes they have on, carrying pets with them and their children. this is a community that was completely caught off guard. there was no evacuation order there. not used to being hit with this type of flooding at all. it's unusual for them. there are -- one officer we talked to, he estimates this is a community of about 7,000 to 8,000 when you combine them all, and, of course, this started
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last night when ferry creek, a levee there broke. the water came in swiftly. people climbed on their roofs. they have a coordinated effort here not only with bergen county officers, they have national guard trucks in here, the high trucks rolling in to try to get some of these people out. they're using helicopters, boats, pretty much anything they can get that you are hands on. the state police are here as well. port authority police are here. the coordinated response has been rapid. the problem is the water. one person getting off was saying, i didn't have a chance, i wanted to go in my house and get some belongings and the officer simply told her, we can't do that, we simply don't have the time for the equipment to do that. so the other issue here, and this is leading to the confusion, is at the moment because this in play, there is no list, there's no register list, they're trying to get that organized. people are coming here looking for their loved ones that they know live there.
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they tried to drive into the town, couldn't get in, it's flooded. the roads are very perilous right now. they're blocked off all over the place with detours. this one couple sort of went in u-turns to try to find their parents. they finally made it here and they're literally inside looking for them. there's a lot of coordination that has to happen. we're trying to get the latest in terms of the rescue from the officers on the ground, but, frankly, they're scattered. they're trying to take care of the people coming in here. a lot of frustration and confusion here. >> there's confusion about where this surge of water is coming from. they think it's a breach in the levee. like where is the dam though? where is that levee located? do you know yet? i know you just got there. >> reporter: it's not clear. we are going it try to see if we can get closer. it's high tide again which is complicating the rescue efforts, as you can imagine. from the one officer i was able to talk to, believed it was in the vicinity of ferry creek, that's where the problem with, a levee that broke. there's an extreme amount of water everywhere though, carol,
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even places where you're not used to seeing it. we came up from the jersey shore to get here, and what should be a 50-minute drive took over two hours. major arteries, the turnpike, the parkway, off-ramps all over the place flooded with water or scattered debris. so it is very difficult to get around. it's been hard -- >> maggie, we're going to have to interrupt you. the new jersey governor is now holding a news conference. chris christie. let's listen. >> we need it. he moved an expedited process this morning by declaring new jersey a major disaster area. the counties that are receiving an immediate declaration for individual and public assistance including atlantic, cape may, hudson, essex, middlesex, monmouth, ocean, and union. please note this list is not final. other counties most certainly will be added as we make a damage assessment. the biggest issues we're facing right now in our most impacted
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counties are search and rescue and restoration of power. want to make sure we're getting to new jerseyans who chose not to leave evacuated areas or got caught in unsuspected floodwaters. our priority is to ensure the safety and security of every new jerseyan. our state police and national guard helicopters are in the air as we speak engaging in coastline rescue efforts. our swift water team is positioned in atlantic city and has begun rescue and recovery for those who remained in atlantic city. these units from central and south to union beach, middletown, belmar, are beginning search and rescue operations. we saw significant tidal flooding in several areas. everywhere from jersey city to newark bay area, moonachie, and little ferry. in moonachie and little ferry we
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have dispatched state and federally supported teams to assist in rescues and are providing shelter to those in need. 18 members of our speed deployment are also headed there in addition to the swift water rescue team, ten high wheel vehicles and boats. we've provided temporary shelter at teterboro airport for the affected residents. we're working to transition them to different shelters. we've provided support to the jersey city police department, the newark fire department, and the essex county sheriff's office in the face of a citywide power outage in both jersey city and newark from high tidal surge. four high wheeled national guard vehicles were sent to jersey city from the jersey city armory to assist them with evacuations at the request of jersey city chief of police. the national guard has repo significanced equipment to
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strategic locations across new jersey and has more than 450 high water vehicles including humvees and heavy trucks. they are providing helicopters with video download capabilities to conduct reconnaissance of sharelines, river basins, and other areas of post landfall damage assessments. currently over 5,500 residents in state and local shelters as of our latest count. we're working to set up shelters as we learn of new needs. we are in the process of opening a sixth shelter at the rutgers athletic center that could support nearly 2,000 people. we want to make sure people have enough food and water for a while which is why we are working with the salvation army and the american red cross to bring in mobile kitchens to serve thousands of meals.
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boxed lunches are being delivered to state shelters today. we are also using fema food and water resources. the national guard has deployed soldiers and airmen at the free hold and woodbridge armories for support of state supported shelter facilities if needed. there are a vast number of new jerseyans today without power. in fact, we currently have 2.4 million new jersey households without power. this is, just so you understand the order of magnitude here, this is twice the number of impacted households as hurricane irene. hurricane high ren was irene .2. 1.2 are pse&g. 935,000 from jcp & l. 195,000 from atlantic city electric. and 45,000 from orange and
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rockland. during hurricane irene restoration took eight days for full restoration. for hurricane sandy full restoration may, in fact, take longer. full damage assessment will not be complete until 24 to 48 hours due to some of the weather delays. they cannot develop a time frame for restoration until damage estimates are under way and obviously these difficult weather conditions are making this more of a challenge. however, the utility companies have continued to reach out to other states for assistance and we're expecting additional linemen and service men from states as far away from texas and indiana and even folks coming in to us from canada. it will remain dangerous in areas where trees and wires are down. ask people to use extreme caution. assume any wire you see down is a live wire and please do not go
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near it. there are currently 173 incidents statewide involving highways and lane closures. most of these closures are the result of downed trees, utility poles, and flooding. closures are statewide with the highest concentration in monmouth county but no county in the state has been spared. avoid travel unless absolutely necessary. i want to say this now to private employers. unless you can identify a safe route for your employees to get to work, i'd ask you to allow them to stay home from work "today." we've deployed 800 employees from nj dot to clear these incidents and we're able to open the garden state parkway this morning. new jersey turnpike is open from exits 1 to exhibit 10. the turnpike authority is continuing to work to clear inner roadways between interstates 10 and 14 of seven-foot high debris fields.
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24 small rail cars were deposited on the northbound outer roadway in the carteret area by tidal surge. for those who have driven in that area, you know it well. small freight rail cars off to the side of the roadway. those rail cars were picked up by the tidal surge and carried onto the elevated roadway and landed all throughout the outer roadway of the new jersey turnpike on the northbound side. additionally, the southbound ramp from exit 15w, interstate 280, has a large washout. this is currently being looked at by our engineers with a stand-by contractor, and as soon as we assess the complete nature of the damage, we'll begin repair work on that ramp. new jersey transit service remains suspended throughout the
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day today. later today new jersey transit will begin assessing the status of the system and testing of critical infrastructure. we do know this, there is major damage on each and every one of new jersey's rail lines. large sections of track were washed out on the new jersey coastline. numerous power lines and trees have fallen along new jersey transit railways across the state. several rail bridges damaged by storm surge including boats and other debris lodged on the railroad tracks. new jersey transit rail station hubs at hoboken, and nor penn station were also impacted by flooding. new jersey's rail operation complex in carnie is fully surrounded by floodwaters which came during the height of the storm.
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regarding our drinking water h we're seeing numerous water supply issues because of flooding and power loss. we currently have at least ten facilities with minor to major problems. our waste water treatment facilities, we have at least 13 facilities again with minor to major operational issues due to flooding and loss of power. we're working with all these facilities to see how we can bring them power supply, equipment, and resources to help bring them back online as soon as possible. in terms of our health care facilities, a total of 91 health care facilities have reported that they lost power. this includes 29 hospitals, 58 long-term care facilities, and others. however, we're expecting this number to increase as people call them in. some are reporting phone problems in their ability to be able to phone in issues to us. most are managing well and many
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are using generator power to be able to continue to care for their patients. department of health has requested 100 ambulances from the fema ambulance contract and we have received assistance from numerous other states. i'll ask before i take questions, upstairs in the conference room that we're using to manage this crisis we just were given a look for the first time of the -- of portions of the jersey shore by state police helicopter who was operating their cameras and relaying the images back. we looked at ortley beach h seaside heights, and seaside park. all of them are nearly completely under water. houses are moved off their foundations. there are houses in the middle of route 35.
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the amusement pier at seaside park is essentially half washed out. i don't know if it was the roller coaster or the log plume is now in the ocean. the second pier, the more southerly pier, is also significantly damaged and some of those amusements are now in the ocean. the level of devastation at the jersey shore is unthinkable, and we know that there are many people who own homes who we've evacuated who are going to want to get back onto the island to assess the damage to their homes. we are nowhere near being able to let you back onto the island. there is no place -- i'm leaving here soon after this press conference to go and tour. there's no place for me to land on the barrier islands. so we're going to have to get --
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the rest we will have to see from the air. with the instability of infrastructure on the barrier islands, we haven't been able to assess the natural gas situation and others, we know there's no power. it would be completely unsafe for homeowners to think about today or any time in the next couple days going back onto those barrier islands. so we want everyone to remain patient in that regard. i will report back fully to you in my press briefing this afternoon what i see. today we'll be taking press with us on a pool basis so that you can see what i see from the helicopters and report back to the public as well. but to prepare the public for what they're going to see, it is beyond anything i thought i'd ever see. terrible. and so we need to remain
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patient, let the waters recede, and then we can go in and make a full assessment about rebuilding that area of the jersey shore, but it is a devastating site right now. so we have a lot of work to do. i have absolute confidence in the fact that we'll be able to do it and do it together. i have confidence in the fact that we'll have complete support from the president of the united states and federal authorities. i think it's very important though for me today now that the -- at least the wind has let up a little bit to see it myself so that when i talk to the president later today i can tell him personally exactly what i have seen to give him the full measure of the devastation that's happened to our state. no question in my mind given the reports that i have seen so far that the devastation that's happened to new jersey is beyond what's happened to anyone else, at least from the reports i have seen so far, and that should come as no shock since the storm
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made landfall here. >> all right. we're going to break away. governor chris christie of new jersey, obviously exhausted, laying it out in stark terms for all to hear, the damage done to his state unthinkable. worst than anything he thought he'd ever see in his lifetime. you tilt crews can't even assess the damage for 24 to 48 hours. that means, he says, people could be without power or heat for up to eight or nine days. be prepared for the worst if you live in the state of new jersey. we'll be back with much more after this. [ female announcer ] why settle for plain bread?
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all right. we're going to head to the weather center to check in with alexandra steele because you heard the governor of new jersey say, you know, he said the weather is still so bad that utility crews can't even get out and assess the damage yet. >> and it's because of the winds. the winds still a player, and you can see why here, carol. here is the center of circulation. it is still only 90 miles west of philadelphia, and we're talking such an incredibly energetic system. imagine the confluence of things that have come together to bring all this rain to the east, all this snow with another foot left coming through west virginia. so incredibly energetic.
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here are two numbers, both of them going down. one is a good thing. the other one is not. the movement west/northwest is 15. so that's been good, it's been moving along. the problem is that number is going down, meaning that will slow. any type of development and low pressure system, be it an area of low pressure that's a nor'easter or a tropical, anything that slows exacerbates the issues, be it the wind or the rain. the winds are coming down and will continue to come down because it is weakening. that is for sure, but the problem is the slow nature of it all. all right. here is a look. can you imagine the energy, at least 9 inches of rain on the eastern flank of this in places like delaware. western flank of it, 9 inches of snow in west virginia and that continues to come down. so it begs the question, right? we know the flooding, with he know the fires, where is this thing going? meteorological that's the most game in town. this is this morning.
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as we head through tonight, watch it move. it stays in western new york. that is certainly not good news. again, i told you it will slow. by the time we go from tuesday into wednesday morning now, it's only in western new york from western pennsylvania moving to western new york. that's it in the next 24 to 36 hours. so you can see it will still be a player even on wednesday. new york to washington, 35 to 45-mile-per-hour wind gusts. abating still, but still an energetic windmaker and still some rain coming around. this is thursday morning. still the snow continues to fall in western maryland and west virginia. so here are the current wind gusts, 20s and 30s. just saw a report around new york, 52-mile-per-hour wind gust. so, you know, it is still robust in nature. it is far from a done deal. i mean, the worst of it is over in terms of the winds coming down, the rain, the worst of it we've most likely seen. high tide was this morning so that continues to abate although the damage obviously has been
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done. wind threat through wednesday, still 60-mile-per-hour wind gusts, 50s and 40s as for south as atlanta, georgia. the breadth and depth is immense. you know what's incredible? on friday the commuter models had this pinpointed to move where it moved so the accuracy of them really is phenomenal. >> well, i was just going to ask you, you have been doing weather a long time. where will the storm go down in history do you think? >> certainly at the top of the game. i mean, pressurewise, people don't understand surface pressure, all you need to know, the lower the numbers, the more energy is storm, be it a low pressure system associated with a nor'easter or a tropical system, the lower it is, the more energetic it is, and the more energy it has, this was the lowest on record as far north, north of the virginias coming ashore. so incredible. certainly in the record books going down on myriad fronts. you heard the governors all talking about what irene did and this is double that in terms of
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the subways, in terms of the rainfall totals, the snow. record books myriad from snow to rain to flooding, it will go down. so it's really -- we talked about it being historic, and it really panned out. you know, on friday we talked about 10 million without power. who would have believed it? it came to fruition. >> sadly so, alexandra, thanks so much. let's talk a little more about the snow because as alexandra said, sandy is also responsible for this heavy, wet snow in the mountains of west virginia. as hard as concrete in the words of one meteorologist. the governor of west virginia asking only essential state workers to report to work today. martin savidge is in kingwood, west virginia, and i think you're practically frozen by now, martin. >> reporter: it feels pretty chilly out here. it's 33 degrees, not that cold, but ideal for heavy snowfalls and that's exactly what we've got going on here. prescott county -- preston,
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rather, is one of 12 in this state that is under a blizzard warning. we've got near whiteout conditions now. heavy winds are blowing and you can see how it's piling up. this is actually a parking lot of a shopping center. you can see that he brought in farm equipment, earth moving equipment because the snow is so heavy, so thick. that's the stuff you were talking about, like concrete. it's very spllick underneath because the street temperature still warm and so that's causing a lot of slipping and sliding but the buildup is so fast they barely get this lot cleared and it starts getting driven by the wind and it gets coming from the sky. we've already got about ten inches of snow. they anticipate at least another foot. blizzard warnings in effect all the way through tomorrow. we've got at least 30 counties that have canceled school. you already mentioned the nonessential personnel. power out in this area, 200,000 people without power in the state of west virginia. i-68, the main thoroughfare,
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they're fighting to get that back open again from morgan tto to the maryland state line. there's a lot of trouble what this state is dealing with. here it's wind and it's snow, just tons and tons of snow dragging down the power lines, bringing down the tree limbs. the ride up here, white knuckle with trees exploded and bringing their branches right down on top of us. really quite amazing to see, and, of course, it's the day before halloween. not the day before christmas. carol. >> boy, thank you very much, martin savidge. we have the governor on the line. that's why i'm going away from martin savidge. i can't imagine what your day is going to be like. >> it's been an interesting morning to say the least, carol, but as martin was saying, the snow continues to come down. it's a heavy, wet snow, and we, i think, have, at least the
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westbound lane of i-68 back open again. we're approaching a quarter of a million customers without power and those continue to climb as the snow continues to come down, the high winds, you know, knocking the trees down as well as as the snows. so we do have our national guard deployed along with our department of highways and division of forestry people to clear roads ahead of the power company crews both first energy and appalachian power have brought hundreds of workers in from their affiliate companies into the state. so, you know, we are getting them deployed wherever we can. obviously, we've got to reemphasize to people that are on the road to please slow down. some of our problems are being caused by especially trucks jackknifing and so forth. so we just encourage everybody if you got to be on the road to drive slow and realize it is slick whether it's the snow, the
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slushy snow, or the leaves that have collected on the highways. so, you know, we're working as well as we can and we're -- i think we've been pretty well-prepared with our state crews working with the power companies to be able to clear the roads as well as to get the power back on as quickly as possible. however -- >> i know, i can't imagine that many people without power all at the same time. what kinds of watches and warnings are in place? because it's a strange c conglomeration this morning. >> it is. we have everything from flood warnings in our panhandles to the high winds and the snow continuing to come down all over the state of west virginia. so it's a massive storm, and it's different than what we've been watching on the seashore, but it's affecting our people just as well in a little bit different manner, the fact it's snow piling up and snowshoe, one
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of our resorts, we have over two feet of snow there. they expect that to continue throughout the day. >> that's unbelievable. how long do you expect people's power to be out because you're getting rain. you have this heavy snow. there's going to be high winds. >> once again, the fact that we did have some warning on this one h the power companies do have their additional crews coming in. we already had our highways and national guard station strategically around the state, so it should be much quicker than it was with the storms that we had during the summer when we had 53 of our 55 counties without power, but once again we're getting to the areas most affected first. our priorities for power are our hospitals, water systems, 911 centers, and our shelters, and our priorities as far as clearing the roads is the main arteries first and then we get into the secondary roads. so in an event like this, you
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have to be patient. we've got everyone we can have out working and the snow continues to come down. so places that were plowed two hours ago were probably covered back up with snow again. >> i'm sure. governor tomblin, thank you for taking time out of your busy morning to share with us. >> thanks for thinking of us, carol. >> always. you heard the new jersey governor chris christie say that fema and the federal government are stepping in to help his state which he says the damage there unthinkable. he's going to be talking to proek later tod e e er -- presi later today. we'll talk about the federal response to the storm after this. a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety. which can withstand over three and a half tons. what if there was a new that focused less on feesy and more... on what matters? maybe your bank account is taking too much time
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superstorm sandy, today's kids will one day tell their grandchildren about the history being written as we speak. the destruction hard to fathom. power outages in 13 states. this morning 7 million homes and businesses without electricity or heat. hurricane-force winds ripping into the eastern corridor, the most populated chunk of the country. even today fierce winds are blowing from georgia to canada. at least 16 people have died and
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floodwaters have paralyzed much of the east. in new york, airport airports, subways all closed. and there are health concerns piling up. floodwaters have washed raw sewage out of a treatment plant in howard county. that problem is almost certain to have happened elsewhere in the region. we'll keep you posted on all of that. president obama remains on top of the changing situation in the northeast ever since returning back to washington just before sandy hit. the president has been receiving updates on this superstorm. overnight he signed disaster declarations for new york and new jersey. those will provide more federal money to assist in the cleanup efforts. our white house correspondent dan lothian joins us now. i know that chris christie is going to talk with the president later today. tell us more. >> reporter: well, that's right. we were told by a white house official that the president will be calling up mayors and governors in the impacted areas, specifically new jersey and new
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york, and this is in addition to some phone conversations that the president had with these state and local officials overnight. as you pointed out, the president was briefed overnight, will continue getting briefings today. the primary briefer we're told is john brennan, his adviser for homeland security. the big question is whether the president will be touring the impacted areas. the president will often go out and look at the damage firsthand. i reached out to a couple white house officials who told me there are no scheduling announcements to be made at this time. we'll be looking for that, to see if the president will make another appearance in the briefing room, which he did yesterday. talked about the latest information he had been getting from his emergency management officials and making the point to warn those out there in the impacted areas to heed the warnings of local officials to evacuate, to follow all the added instructions so that those
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first responders will not be putting their lives in danger. in addition to that, the president dismissing at least at this point any concerns about what this particular disaster could have on his campaign saying that now is not the time to focus on that. he's focused on the people who are impacted by this and those first responders, carol. >> it's interesting though because the president probably would naturally say, yes, i want to tour these damaged areas, but, you know, he's open to criticism now because the election is not so far away. >> reporter: that's right, and, you know, in addition to that, he has to also balance whether or not he's going to go and tour the impacted areas, but also when he will go back out on the campaign trail. i did talk to a campaign official who said that is still fluid. the hope was that the president would head back out on the campaign trail tomorrow. as you know, he's already suspended trips both for today and yesterday, two critical days leading up to the election day that the president has not been out there on the campaign trail. those outstanding questions and it's still too fluid for
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officials to say with any certain degree of certainty that the president will be heading back out there real soon. >> dan lothian reporting live from the white house this morning. for more information about how you can help those affected by sandy, and i know many of you do, check out cnn.com/impact. i'll be right back.
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oh...there you go. wooohooo....hahaahahaha! i'm gonna stand up to her! no you're not. i know. you know ronny folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than a witch in a broom factory. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. we heard a little earlier from new jersey's governor chris christie that the damage in his state is unthinkable. he's going to go up in a helicopter. he's going to bring members of the press with him just so that everybody can see just how much help this state needs. ali velshi is in atlantic city, part of the boardwalk there has been damaged. we're also wondering about the casinos there, ali.
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>> reporter: well, they're shut down. we went for -- i went for a survey about two hours ago to look at the situation, but they had shut everything down, there was nobody on the boardwalk. there has been some damage to the boardwalk in an isolated area. most of it is intact. some signs have come down. as for the casinos, these are all structures, they have probably experienced some flooding but we were talking to fire officials who were on the boardwalk and they said there was no report of anything that resembled an energy. these things were totally, totally closed down. if you recall a few days ago, it was the first thing chris christie did was shutting down the casinos and evacuating them on the boardwalk. so, you know, on the casinos you have the taj mahal, bali's, caesar's, trump palace over there. they're all shut down. there's nothing going on on the boardwalk. most of the stores on the boardwalk use those metal shutters to close their stores every night. the rest of them had plywood put on top. so there's nothing going on there. it did overtop. the problem you have in new jersey right now is the damage
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along parts of the jersey shore further south of here and those barrier islands. people were told to get out of there. most did. the problem is the devastation was quite serious. so that's the situation there. now, in order to provide rescue for that, they have used atlantic city as a staging area for the red cross, for the national guard, and for a number of ambulances. we saw a convoy of ambulances from indiana that were based here and have moved out. also utility vehicles, those buckets, a lot of those have been coming in. i was on the cnn express, i was in the western part of virginia the other day, and as i drove in here to cover this storm, convoy after convoy of utility trucks. that's what's happening here. the water is all gone, as you can see. basically, carol, the damage here is going to be some flooding. there are some power lines down. atlantic city, while it flooded, and i had water up to my waist, the damage is not here as much as it is in those barrier
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islands. i will tell you as far as rescues go including trees and power lines, you just saw, it's still windy here. probably a little much for people to be up fixing the wires and trees just yet. >> i think the winds have to be blowing less than 25 miles per hour for them to go up in those cherry pickers so they can fix the lines. question for you, mr. businessman, because chris christie asked all private employers to keep employees home today. he's probably going to ask again tomorrow because the damage is that bad along the areas you were talking about in new jersey. guesstimate for us how much money will be lost for the state of new jersey. >> reporter: hard to tell for the state of new jersey. the best estimates we got in at the last minute yesterday were sort of in the $20 billion range. overall in terms of economic damage, that's insured losses, those are other bosses, business losses. hard to tell what it's going to be. remember, carol, as devastating
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as things like this are, boy, the rain has just picked up here, as devastating as they are, where there is rebuilding and work to be done, sometimes that offsets it. so you always have to look at a hurricane or a big storm at least six months out and look back at it so see whether there's been a net loss or a net improvement. obviously, that doesn't matter right now. there are people with cash flow problems. there are people who want their paychecks. so that's not something most people are thinking about immediately, but we often look back and say, you know, on balance sometimes these things are not harmful to the economy because there's so much extra work involved in rebuilding, reconstruction, and rehabilitation. >> i hope you're right. ali velshi, reporting live from atlantic city, new jersey. we'll take a quick break and be back with much more in the "newsroom."
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we're going to join our local affiliate wabc out of new york. little rescues going on in little ferry, new jersey, where there's been a breach in a leave yes. let's listen. >> reporter: these are homes with first floors, second floors, and they have an attic area. so you were just talking about
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massive, massive amounts of water in a very short period of time. so here you go, let me just take this picture. you have the folks over there just -- that are getting off and again, here is the other problem now. we're getting a downpour. it's now starting to rain again. the rescuer was talking about that storm surge. well, this just keeps raining. wow, wait a second. hang on, mike, i have somebody over here standing on her balcony. walk with me right here. see, there's a lady, she's on her deck over there and there's no way she's going anywhere. she's going to need to get rescued. >> sara, how deep is the water? >> reporter: i just spotted her. it's chest deep. i'm not going to go swren whean near there but these cars here are submerged and i would say it's at least up to here if i'm going to walk into the water. you don't know what's under here. you don't know where the pit
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falls are so it's just a very dangerous situation. we don't wanted want that lady, for instance, or that gentleman, trying to get off their decks and come walking out of here not know and get stranded or we don't know what their health problems are. that's another thing is imagine the trauma and the stress that these people are going through, and a lot of them that we're seeing are elderly and as you all mentioned, those little kids, it's just a really frightening situation. >> and probably didn't get any sleep last night throughout the course of the storm. sara, i wanted to ask you, since you have been there, have you seen any of the water recede at all? >> reporter: actually we're seeing it just move around, and now with this pelting rain, i think it's actually on the increase. so that's a really bad sign. >> certainly you mentioned before that some of the folks there had called 911 during the course of the night and then didn't receive any response. i do recall at some point yesterday governor christii satisfying at some point during the height of the storm it might be too dangerous for them to send out first responders but
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certainly a lot of questions as to why they didn't even get an answer at the 911 system. >> reporter: well, i should also point out that, you know, part of this may be that the cell phones were not able to get through. we, for instance, have had a really hard time even getting cell service to you this morning. we don't know if the system is just overloaded. that may have been part of the problem with people trying to dial out last night. we just don't know for a fact if they were unable to get through. wow! sorry, guys. see, this is the problem. i just stepped off here and there's a huge drop right in the water. >> step out of there, sara. don't get yourself into a situation. >> reporter: it's all right, but we've just really got to watch where we're going and that's one of the reasons why you really want to make sure that -- >> sara, are they taking the homeowners to teterboro? do you know which shelter? the governor said they set one up in teterboro but i'm wondering if there are other shelters set up nearer?
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>> reporter: i don't know that. these people have been here for a number of hours. the only people we can say for sure that were taken out was the lady you saw in the stretcher who obviously was having some kind of distress and, you know, i'm going to try to do the next time we come back to you is let me get some of the people over. we'll talk to them and find out some of their stories, their personal stories, but we wanted to bring you the situation as it's developing right now. we have yet another rescue over here. you know, they're pulling more and more people out, and we have yet -- you can see these guys wading through the water. >> can you push in on that so we can see that rescue happening right now. we can see it a little bit in the distance. you were watching these recues as they happen. this is happening in little ferry, new jersey. one of the neighborhoods there just inundated with water and probably about two to three dozen people have been rescued so far this morning. sara wallace has been there for us throughout the morning and she's been taking us through as
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homeowners and their families have been brought in to higher ground. >> reporter: yes. and you can see they're trying to bring this family right now as we're talking about it, they're wrapped in blankets. obviously these people just grabbed whatever they could and the water is very deep where they are. so i'm just trying to get an eyeball here on i think we have a little boy in that raft and i'm trying to see an elderly person i believe that's in the raft that's in the foreground, and then what they're trying to do is they're transferring them to yet another boat, so those rafts can actually be ready to go back in and pull out more people in the area that's being flooded. here we have rescuer putting that little boy on his back. i'll let you just -- we'll push in here and there's a baby, i believe, in his arms as well as you can see the little child in the red. >> we see that little boy clinging. >> it breaks your heart to see
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anybody in this kind of situation. these people are leaving with basically little more than the shirts on their backs and not knowing when they're going to be able to get back in their homes. i'm sure happy that they're out of that situation. the governor was saying earlier that they've set up shelters at teterboro and other locations nearby. everybody is going to get out of there. that's the good news about that situation in that home. >> and not only the governor saying are they going to have to supply food and water to the people who have been rescued or are needing the shelter, but a lot of people just leaving with the clothes on their backs and will need dry clothes to put on once they get to the shelters. so they are now scrambling to try to find clothes for people as well. go ahead, sara. >> reporter: you know, we're just not going to stop and talk to these people. they're too traumatic, but i have to show you. mike pull over, we have this lady who has just been reunited with her dog. ma'am, i'm noticing you actually are walking with your bare feet. how are you